Brody is the first mate of Rowen the Restless from the Legendary Bastards of the Crown Series.
A captain, thrown overboard by his crew in an act of mutiny is rescued by a fishing ship. Will the fisherman’s daughter accept a pirate aboard although her father has warned her not to?
Excerpt from Pirate in the Mist: Brody
Dying at the hands of his crew was not at all what Brody, Captain of the Sea Mirage, had planned for the day.
The swirling depths of the sea threatened to consume him. He stared down into the black water as he balanced precariously on a plank extending from the side of his ship. His mutinous crew, the cutthroat bunch of traitors, watched with bated breath as he teetered on the edge with his hands and feet tied by coarse rope.
Blast it all! This wasn’t turning out to be a good day. He’d just recently inherited the title of Captain of the Sea Mirage when Rowen, one of the triplet bastards of King Edward III, abandoned his crew for the sake of a wench. Now, just as quickly as Brody had inherited his good fortune, it was about to be taken away.
“Go on – jump,” demanded the rough voice of the oldest pirate on the ship, Old Man Muck. Having always held a grudge that he wasn’t captain, Muck never stopped trying to make the Sea Mirage his. He was an angry man with a quick temper, no morals at all, and he never thought about anyone but himself. Aye, men like Muck were what gave pirates a bad reputation.
Muck poked Brody in the back with the tip of his sword, edging him forward. If Brody’s hands and feet hadn’t been tied, he’d take on Muck even without a weapon to save his ship. The Sea Mirage was the only home he had known for most his life. Unfortunately, these fickle pirates were also the only family he had now. Things couldn’t possibly get any worse.
It was early morning as far as Brody could tell. The fog was thick, and he could barely see through the mist as they sailed into the white abyss.
“God’s eyes, what’s the matter with you, Muck?” spat Brody, turning his head to talk to the old man. “How did you and Lucky get aboard my ship in the first place? For that matter, how did you escape the dungeons of Hermitage Castle in Scotland after Rowen put you there to stay?”
Brody needed to stall for time and, hopefully, come up with a plan quickly. He’d been woken from a sound sleep by Muck and Lucky who must have come aboard at the last port before the ship set sail for the night.
He’d been dragged out of bed and removed from his cabin before he even knew what happened. Although he’d fought back, Muck and Lucky managed to tie him up and haul him to the side of the ship. His crew had done nothing at all to help him. Instead, they just stood and watched. Cowards! None of this made any sense.
“I told you, Rowen set us free,” growled Muck, spittle dribbling down into his scraggly brown beard as he spoke. Muck’s teeth were broken and rotten. His clothes were dirty and ripped. Brody could smell the stench emanating from the man’s body all the way from the end of the plank.
“That’s a lie,” growled Brody. “Rowen is the one who put you two behind bars for attempting mutiny when the ship was under his command. He would never set you free.”
“It was his brother, Reed, who let us out,” admitted Lucky.
Muck shot him a menacing look, squinting his eyes as he spoke to his sidekick. “Shut your mouth, Lucky. I’m the one doing the talking, not you. Say another word, and I’ll add to that scar on your neck.”
“Sorry, Muck.” Lucky rubbed the long scar across his neck that Rowen had given him years ago. His vocal chords had been cut, and Lucky was very lucky to be alive – hence it earned him the nickname. His voice suffered from the injury and sounded raspy and frightening when he spoke.
“I was right,” said Brody. “Rowen didn’t set you free. Crew, do you hear that?” He peered through the fog, his eyes traveling from Big Garth – his cook, over to Spider – the barrel-chested pirate with the hairy arms. Then his gaze settled on the tall pirate named Ash who walked with a limp. “Bid the devil, do something to help me instead of standing there watching!”
“I don’t know,” said the pirate named Odo. His eye nervously twitched as he studied Brody. “Old Man Muck does deserve to be cap’n.”
“He’s got a point there,” said Spider. “Rowen deserted us, and now you won’t even let us raid. Muck would never leave his ship for a woman. Neither would he keep us from raiding.” The crew grew edgy as they discussed it.
“No matter if he deserted us, Rowen is no longer the captain of the Sea Mirage,” Brody reminded them. “The ship is mine now.”
“Not for long,” said Muck.
The crew was anxious to raid once again, so they sided with Muck. The only crewmember that stayed loyal to Brody was the boy named Link. Link had been an orphan when Rowen took him onto the ship years ago as part of their dysfunctional family of less-than-honorable men.
“Leave Brody alone,” shouted Link. “He’s never done a thing to any of you.” The boy was only four and ten years of age but had the courage of any of the seasoned men aboard the ship.
“Step back, boy, or you’ll be walking the plank with him,” warned Muck, swatting a bug at the back of his neck.
“Nay, I won’t!” Link daringly pushed Muck. It was a foolish move on his part, but all the distraction Brody needed. With his feet still tied together, Brody hopped down to the deck, throwing his body at Muck. As he did, Muck turned around with his sword raised.
Using the blade to his advantage, Brody jabbed his arms upward, running the ropes that bound his wrists together, across the edge of the sword. He managed to cut his bindings and push away from the blade at the same time. Quickly, his nimble fingers removed the ropes from around his wrists. He dove for Muck, taking the old man down on the deck of the ship. The crew parted, watching the fight. They cheered and shouted. To them, this was naught more than a morning of entertainment.
Brody struggled with Muck, throwing a few punches. Two arms grabbed him from behind, and he turned to see Lucky helping the old man. With all the kicking and squirming, the ropes at Brody’s ankles loosened. He reached down to free himself.
Seeing a dagger on the deck, he snatched it up. But when he stood, Muck was holding his blade to Link’s throat.